Wednesday Jan 29, 2020
KARACHI: The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) said Wednesday the governor and opposition had no role in appointing the new inspector-general (IG) of police for Sindh.
The statement comes a day after the federal government urged the chief minister to appoint Sindh's top cop after consulting Governor Imran Ismail.
Speaking to the media, Sindh Chief Minister's Adviser on Information, Law, and Anti-Corruption Murtaza Wahab expressed disappointment over the federal government's move to backtrack from appointing a new Sindh IG.
Wahab said the federal government was provided three names by the Sindh government at first and later, two, for the post of Sindh IG. The consultation process between the federal government and Sindh had started on December 23, 2019, he added.
"We were told that the prime minister was in Davos and that he would resolve the issue [of the new IG's appointment] as soon as he returns to the country," said Wahab.
He said all five names proposed by the Sindh government were discussed during a one-on-one meeting between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. The meeting had ended on a positive note after both signed off on one name for the post of Sindh's top cop, he added.
"For Sindh government, the matter had ended [with the PM Imran-CM Murad meeting] as one name had been finalised between the federal and provincial governments," he said.
The matter had become a bone of contention between the federal and Sindh governments over the past couple of months.
Sindh wished to remove IG Dr Kaleem Imam, saying his performance was unsatisfactory. The centre, on the other hand, had snubbed the provincial government by saying Imam would continue to serve as IGP until further notice.
On Monday, PM Imran had held a meeting with CM Shah on the new IG's appointment. Both, according to media reports, had agreed to appoint Mushtaq Mehar as Sindh's top police cop. On Tuesday, however, the centre had announced the decision to appoint the new IG had been delayed.
During his press conference, Wahab claimed the Sindh government was taken aback when Dr Imam, while speaking at an event on Tuesday, had said "he was going nowhere and if he does, he will move to a higher post".
"When the media asked us questions [about Dr Imam's statement], we told them that the consultation between the federal and provincial governments was over," he said.
Wahab said it was disappointing to see how the federal government backtracked on its promise when the prime minister's special assistant, Firdous Ashiq Awan, had announced that the decision to appoint the new IG had been delayed.
Wahab further said the Sindh government believed in the rule of law and had been elected by the people. The governor and opposition had no role in the new IG's appointment, he added.
The adviser said the Sindh chief minister was a representative of the people and it was his constitutional right to change the police chief if he deemed so.
Wahab expressed hope that the new IG will be appointed along the lines of the consultations held during the January 27 meeting between the prime minister and the chief minister.